Temporary exhibition

26 May 2017 — 7 January 2018

ILLUSIONS: The Art of Magic

The exhibition will take on the period of magic shows’ golden age and its advertising and promotional mechanisms that relied on phantasmagoric imagery. A selection of breathtaking posters, mostly dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, will retrace the social history of this still active phenomenon. These posters, halfway between art and advertisement, are magnificent, large format chromolithographs that immortalise the magicians and the acts that marked the world of modern magic.

  • Thurston, Levitation – The Greatest Illusion in the World, Strobridge Lithographing Co., 1914, M2014.128.542
  • Carter, The Mysterious, Illinois Litho Co.,1905, M2014.128.86
  • Kellar, Toasting with the Devil, Strobridge Lithographing Co., 1899, M2014.128.299
  • Le Roy, Talma, Bosco 
World’s Monarchs of Magic, Adolph Friedländer, 1905, M2014.128.318
  • Thurston, Do The Spirits Come Back?, Strobridge Lithographing Co., 1915, M2014.128.421

For this exhibition, the McCord Museum intends to showcase part of its extraordinary collection of posters and documents on the theme of magic. Acquired recently thanks to La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, the Allan Slaight Collection is the only one of its magnitude in Canada; it comprises 600 posters and more than 1,000 documents and rare books. The collection was named in honour of the Canadian businessman and magic enthusiast Allan Slaight.

Acquisition made possible by La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso. 

Not to be missed!

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